Sweetheart of the Month: Kris Ellis

Sweetheart of the Month

-Kris Ellis-

Instagram // Website

1) Please introduce yourself! We’d love to get to know you. 

Hi! I’m Kris. I’m 24 years old & live in South Florida. I’m engaged to my high school sweet heart & have the cutest dog in the world.  I can’t ride a bike (long story). My last meal on earth would be a greasy burger and Parmesan truffle fries. I love live music, unique people, and old buildings. I pretty much will cry at most things: videos of military men & women coming home, when Jim and Pam finally kiss in the Season 2 finale of The Office, the National Anthem, dog adoption pet profiles, etc. My dream is to have my own store selling vintage clothing and home décor, kinda like if Joanna Gaines and a thrift store had a baby—that’s my dream in a nutshell. My life goals are to see as many places in the world as possible, to have a large, loving family, and to make a difference in people’s lives in whatever way I can.

2) The Sweetheart persona is all about kindness. Who has had the biggest influence in your life when it comes to being taught how to be “kind?”

My fiancé’s mom, Sonjia, is the kindest woman I’ve ever met. She has such a warm heart and cares for others so deeply. When you meet her, she will give you a hug that you can actually feel. You know when you hug someone and you genuinely feel comforted? That’s what all of her hugs are like. A few years ago my mom was battling cancer, and no one else was quite as comforting as she was. I could cry & tell her everything that scared me & she would listen and cry with me. It’s hard to comfort people going through hard times like that. Most people struggle to find the words to say. I learned then that it’s more impactful to try to feel what others are feeling—that’s all I wanted & she does that so well.

She lives and breathes passion through her self-made & run card company, Courage in Color. She started her business after seeing the need for encouragement for those battling cancer. She spends her days creating art to serve her community & caring for her family. She inspires me every day use my talents to serve others & to trust God with my life’s path. I am pretty blessed to marry her son, but equally blessed to gain her as another mother.

3) The Sweetheart persona is all about being in good company. What is your favorite memory with your friends?

I have so many—this is definitely the hardest question to answer! My friends are my world. I think my fondest memory with my friends is my engagement story. This past December, my then-boyfriend David 100% surprised me by popping the question at the park by my house where we grew up. I couldn’t even fully react because I was so caught of guard. Right after it happened, he tells me we’re heading back to my house and our parents are there to celebrate. I walked into my house & saw not only our parents, but alllllll of my extended family and a ton of David’s friends. While I was so happy (and crying), I still was a little sad deep down that I didn’t see any my friends. Then I was led around the corner and all of my best friends were standing there! They traveled in from all around the country–Chicago, NYC, Virginia–and I had NO idea. You guys, I started SOBBING! Just completely lost it, couldn’t breathe, snot everywhere type of crying. I was so overwhelmed with emotions and so touched by them being there. It was the greatest day.

4) What makes your heart beat? What do you believe in, stand for, and want to tell others about?

I believe in loving people & stand for kindness. (Pretty cool to fit the “sweetheart” profile so perfectly!) I love people, especially ones who are different from me. I grew up in a bubble–middle class, private school, suburbia life. Everyone around me pretty much had the same house, same problems, same upbringing. It wasn’t until I moved to Dallas after college that I truly began to understand how big the world is & have my viewpoints challenged. I grew to love other cultures & learn that there isn’t just one way to do life. I learned the value in getting to know people—& this is completely different from meeting people for me. Meeting people is great, but I would so much rather get to know one person really well than meet twenty people at surface level.  Nothing makes my heart beat quite like a meal shared with a new friend, exchanging stories and sharing hopes and fears.

Recently, the world has felt so mean. In the words of the hit-making Black Eyed Peas featuring JT, “where is the love?” Am I right? I wish the world were nicer. I wish people could see we are more alike than we are different. I want to tell others to give the person who cut you off the benefit of the doubt, to have lunch with the new girl at work who doesn’t know anyone yet, to hold the door open for the person behind you. It’s so easy to forget that the bodies around us are people, too. A little more kindness would make this world a better place.

5) What do you do? And what led you to choose this path?

I work in retail! Surprise, surprise 😉 I actually studied finance in college and happen to be quite a numbers girl. I didn’t realize that I had any creative talents until a few years ago because I always was so good at math. I feel like growing up everyone painted creatives as my classmates who could draw. It wasn’t until late in college that I started to express myself more through what I wore and view fashion & photography as creative expression. Right after college I worked at a big box retailer in buying. Now, I’m a manager at Anthropologie! I’m working to become as well rounded as possible; to one day have the skills and experience to run my own business. #girlboss

6) What inspired you to start Root + Heart? 

I love sharing my life with other people. I wanted a place where all of my inspiration could live together & a place for my Instagram to expand—more pictures, more stories, more of me. It actually started when I was looking for a more creative job, but only had a resume full of crunching numbers. It was my version of a creative portfolio, but also a larger canvas for me to figuratively paint on. I wanted a way to share life’s beauty from my eyes to anyone who’s interested in watching.

7) We noticed that you also enjoy thrifting and styling pieces, do you have any tips for people that want to go thrifting?

Thrift store shopping has become one of my favorite hobbies. My biggest advice is to be open minded & ready to dig through some racks! When you’re ready to find some gems for cheap, you gotta try it. I always use yelp & a simple Google search in an area I’m unfamiliar with.

Some tips for thrifting newbies:

  • Don’t be scared by the size on the tag. Size scales have changed so much over the years. I always just try things on if I like them, no matter if it’s a size 2 or 12.
  •  Things can be altered! Recently, I fell in love with a pattern on a dress, but really wanted it to be a top instead. It was $5! So I bought it, cut the bottom off & am getting it hemmed to the length I want. Yes—it makes it less cheap, but also makes your wardrobe custom!
  • Ask them what specials they have. I walked into a thrift store once and it happened to be half off Wednesday! So I walked out with three things and only spent ten bucks.
  • Chat with locals about events that are happening. I’ve been to a few yard sales from churches or hospitals in the area that I heard about through friends.

8) Is there one piece of clothing that holds a special meaning to you? 

Funny story. When I moved back to Florida from Texas, 80% of my clothes and shoes flew off my parents’ car onto the highway and were irretrievable. After grieving for a day, I accepted the fact that it’s just clothes and life will go on. That being said, I do have a few items that I cherish, but I’ve learned to not be as attached to physical stuff anymore.

On a different note, my engagement ring is most favorite possession. I never really wanted a diamond unless it had meaning to me—like one in the family or with a story behind it. David actually designed my ring himself with a jeweler and the stone inside used to be a pair of earrings that was passed down in his family. I love it because it is unique, special and thoughtfully created by my love!

9) Who are your biggest inspirations when it comes to fashion? 

My biggest inspiration is my coworker, Vanessa. She is our store’s personal stylist & the queen of print mixing and taking risks. I’ve only known her for a few months, and in that short time she has helped me hone my personal style more than anyone else. She has taught me so much about outfitting & has given me more courage to push the boundaries. Every day I come to work and can’t wait to see what she has on. I always look forward to chats with her about all things fashion & am so glad to have a confident, fabulous style coach in her.

10) If you could describe your ideal day, how would it go?

My ideal day would always involve sleeping in. While I would say I’m a pretty positive, loves-life kind of gal, I simultaneously am one of those people who look forward to going to bed immediately when I wake up. Like I’ll be driving to work thinking, “Man, I can’t wait to go to sleep tonight.” So having no alarm set and sleeping in is number one. I would have time to take my dog to the park and then make chocolate chip pancakes. It’s also a sunny 74 degrees out and the clouds are doing that thing where it looks like the ripples in a lake when you drop a pebble into it.

I would spend the day exploring & relaxing—going from coffee shop to thrift store to flower shop. I would eat dinner outside with friends (most likely pizza and wine), and spend the evening with David. We would go on a walk and listen to good music and talk about the exciting times to come. Most likely some cookies are in the mix there, too. Pretty simple day, but sounds oh so sweet to me.

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